Ontario Tables Fall Budget 2020

On November 5, 2020, the Ontario government tabled its 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover (Budget), and introduced supporting implementation legislation, Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020(Bill 229).

Important Updates Regarding the Extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

On October 14, 2020, the Department of Finance Canada released its latest backgrounder regarding the CEWS. The Extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy backgrounder (Backgrounder) summarizes a number of new and recently announced changes to the CEWS, including the extension of the CEWS to June 2021.

Supreme Court Clarifies Employee Incentive Plan Entitlements During Notice Period

On October 9, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Matthews v. Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. It confirmed that where terminated employees would be entitled to a bonus or other incentive payments during the reasonable notice period, employers must use clear and unambiguous language to remove or limit their common law rights. The Supreme Court also distinguished between the obligation to provide reasonable notice of termination and a breach of the duty to exercise good faith in the manner of dismissal.

Ontario Introduces Temporary Funding Relief for Defined Benefit Pension Plans

Sponsors of defined benefit (DB) pension plans registered in Ontario have been given significant temporary contribution relief as part of the Ontario government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On September 21, 2020, Ontario Regulation 520/20 (Regulation) was filed. The Regulation amends Regulation 909 made under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA) to permit temporary contribution deferral for certain eligible DB pension plans, and extend the time over which catch-up contributions following the filing of a new valuation report must be made.

Details of Extensive Changes to Employment Insurance and Canada Emergency Response Benefit Announced

In the latest evolution of the federal government’s response to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, on August 19, 2020, amendments to the Employment Insurance Act (EI Act) were published and, on August 20, 2020, the government announced new measures to support affected Canadians who continue to be unable to work due to COVID-19.